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  1. #1
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    HELP! Business plan for publishing website

    Alright, I have 2 different college books on starting a business, though Im having a VERY hard time figuring out what to put for certain sections. Most business books help you setup a business plan with a retail, service type business in mind.

    For example, market assessment... who is your customer, what is your market... all very simple questions for a retail business.

    I am starting nothing more then a network of content sites in order for me to sell advertising.. the main difference is that I have 2 markets I guess... my visitors, and my advertisors... who exactly is my customer... the advertisers are the one paying me money.... but its my visitors that make me money... its kinda confusing...

    Im just having a lot of problems... I know its a lot of guessing but there is so much... like a sales forcast, first I need to guess how fast my sites are going to grow, which is nearly impossible lol... then I gotta guess roughly how much i will be able to monitize the websites... so im pulling a lot of that out my *** lol.

    So back to the point, so should I just include industry information for both ym visitors, and advertising, and just do everything for both... like how would a news paper, magazine, radio show or anything that has to do with publishing make a business plan?
    David Sontag - Gaming Fan Site WebMaster
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Umaro
    Alright, I have 2 different college books on starting a business, though Im having a VERY hard time figuring out what to put for certain sections. Most business books help you setup a business plan with a retail, service type business in mind.

    For example, market assessment... who is your customer, what is your market... all very simple questions for a retail business.

    I am starting nothing more then a network of content sites in order for me to sell advertising.. the main difference is that I have 2 markets I guess... my visitors, and my advertisors... who exactly is my customer... the advertisers are the one paying me money.... but its my visitors that make me money... its kinda confusing...
    I would see it like that:
    Only the people that pay you money are your customers. Your advertisers are your customers.

    You could see your visitors in two ways:

    1. Your visitors are limited resources. Think of your company as a mining company. How can you find more iron ore to sell to your customers. What if you run out? What if your competitors dig it up from the other side?

    2. Your visitors are suppliers. You are selling eyeballs on ads. You need someone (many) who can supply you with a reliable and predictable and growing supply of eyeballs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Umaro
    Im just having a lot of problems... I know its a lot of guessing but there is so much... like a sales forcast, first I need to guess how fast my sites are going to grow, which is nearly impossible lol... then I gotta guess roughly how much i will be able to monitize the websites... so im pulling a lot of that out my *** lol.

    So back to the point, so should I just include industry information for both ym visitors, and advertising, and just do everything for both... like how would a news paper, magazine, radio show or anything that has to do with publishing make a business plan?
    You just need to make these assumptions, test them and then change them. A wrong plan is better than no plan.

    HTH, Jochen
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bluedreamer's Avatar
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    It's not 'that' dis-similar from making a plan for a bricks and mortar business.

    1. create a business identity/branding = domain name
    2. find a location for your shop = web hosting
    3. fit your shop out = web site design & build
    4. marketing & advertsing

    You will already know that you have to include known start up costs and projected future costs.

    The income side of things is the hardst bit as you have found. As jdog says it's mostly making assumptions. You could create 2 or 3 scenarios based on different models - in fact it's always good to have a 'plan B' to fall back on in case things don't work the way you intended.

  4. #4
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Look at your business like you are a distributor, since a content site is a middleman to products or services. Your advertisers are your clients. Your visitors are actually the product you have to offer them.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  5. #5
    www.artdirector.co nomad1nz's Avatar
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    First, decide on how many people you would like to visit your site per day and see how much it will cost.

    Then produce different scenarios. Say if 2% of my traffic buys into my services then I will make this much and it will cost me this much.
    www.artdirector.co
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  6. #6
    Resident Grump BillyParadise's Avatar
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    With a free site, think of it like you're a radio station or TV station - as jdog said, you're simply selling eyeballs to advertisers.

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